featured-fitnessfitnessIssue 35

Running Clubs Provide More than Exercise

By Jacqui D. Sinarle


Believe it or not, there’s more to local running clubs than just running!

While it’s true that joining a running club is a great way to get some exercise, local running groups offer so much more—from training for an event, to opportunities to meet people, to supporting worthwhile community programs! Plus, most groups welcome members who can’t or don’t care to run.

“Modesto Moves has no fitness level requirements except for the ability to walk, walk/run, roll in a wheelchair, run, or be pushed in a official race chair,” explained Mike Mason, president of Moves Training Teams, one of several local organizations. “The goal is to keep moving!”

Check out these clubs and choose one that suits you (see individual websites for details about membership requirements, benefits, and fees associated with each club):

Athletes For Adoption


Athletes for Adoption team members participate in events to raise money on behalf of Grace Adoption Ministry, Inc., a nonprofit foundation in Modesto. The club’s coaches provide training for running and obstacle course racing events, and also give members tips on how to achieve success in fundraising goals. Team members raise money by soliciting sponsorships as they train and race in athletic events throughout the year. “The teams mission to ‘defend the fatherless’ helps bring a great group of people together for the purpose of helping orphans throughout the world,” said coach Loren Thompson. “It’s incredibly fun and rewarding!”

Modesto Moves Training Team

(Associated with Moves Training Teams serving Modesto, Ripon and Manteca)


Modesto Moves is a structured program that teaches participants how to run/walk without injury in 5K, quarter- and half-marathon distances. “We are a group of volunteers who support the goals of active lifestyle through movement by walking, rolling or running,” added Mike Mason. “We specialize in getting people off the couch, into a program, and able to realize a half-marathon within 4 to 5 months.” Membership is $55 to $85 per training season (five to six months) and includes a technical shirt, two weekly group workouts, a calendar, and mentorship to complete a walk/run event from certified marathon and short distance coaches. Limited scholarships are available.

Dusty Bottoms Trail Runners


This lighthearted group of runners invites runners of all abilities and strives to provide a sense of community, fun group runs, and events that are challenging and welcoming. Membership is $25 and includes a Dusty Bottoms race team shirt.

“Being a member is not required to come run with the club,” noted Jeff Rowe, president. “We meet every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in front of Fuzio in downtown Modesto, and anyone who is interested is welcome to join us. Since it’s an individual sport, you run or walk at your own pace, and because we have a wide range of members, it’s likely you’ll find someone who’s moving at your speed!”

Central Valley Trail Blazers


The Central Valley Trail Blazers welcome runners and hikers (or those who aspire to be) who are age 18 and older of any fitness level, from first-timers to seasoned athletes. Members attend local group runs, hikes, and trail runs; find running partners; and even host their own local runs, hikes or trail runs. Membership is free.

ShadowChase Running Club


ShadowChase Running Club is a nonprofit organization that promotes fitness in the greater Modesto area and has donated more than $32,646 to community programs and scholarships.

“Our club is community oriented and we welcome people of all skill levels who want to get fit and excel in their running and walking abilities,” said Heidi Ryan, membership director. “We offer a monthly newsletter, information about local events through our email campaigns, and monthly meetings for social interaction and as well as opportunities to join others and run.” The cost for a single membership (which includes a tech shirt) is $30; visit the website for couple, family and student membership fees and training info.

Teens Run Modesto


Teens Run Modesto, a program sponsored by ShadowChase Running Club, challenges Central Valley students, especially those considered “at risk,” to experience the benefits of goal setting, character development, adult mentoring and improved physical health through a structured training program culminating in the running of the Modesto Marathon. The training program begins 26 weeks prior to the date of the Modesto Marathon and includes weekday group runs and education about nutrition, hydration and injury prevention.

For more information on running events, visit CVrunning.com.

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